The Do's and Don'ts of Shooting Film on Rainy Days
I love bright, sunny wedding days! But I also love rainy days. There's something so beautiful about rainy weddings! While it's not what every bride would pick, it is the reality of weddings. As photographers, we have to know how to make the most of our lighting conditions and create beautiful images! Related: 5 Tips for shooting film in the rain, Frame by Frame: Film in the Rain
Today I want to share the do's and don'ts of shooting film in the rain! I so wish that there was a post like this when I first started because it would have minimized rainy-day stress! I hope this post helps you as you face your own rainy weddings this year.
The DON'TS of shooting film in the rain
Don't think that you can't shoot film on a rainy day
I love using Portra 800 on a rainy day because of the pops of color and the high ISO capabilities. Fuji 400 works well too! Don't think that you can't shoot film if it's rainy! Some of my favorite work was taken on rainy days (or even while it was pouring).
Don't forget to meter
If you're used to using a light meter, you might want to keep it out on rainy days. I probably use my light meter more on rainy days than I do on sunny days because the lighting changes are so subtle.
Don't shoot the shadow side
On a sunny day you might love shooting backlit - who doesn't?! But on an overcast day, you are going to want to turn your subject to face the brightest side. You can do this by holding your hand up to see which side is brighter. I prefer to look at the blades of grass to see where the shadows fall!
The DO's of shooting film in the rain
Do load your film out of the rain
Don't try to load film under the pouring rain or even while it's sprinkling. You will cause issues for your equipment and the film. Instead, load it inside or under an umbrella!
Do store your film in a ziplock bag
This is a good habit to get used to. It helps you if you're shooting in the snow too! Once you roll up your film, just go ahead and put it in a ziplock bag. If something happens and your bag falls in a creek, puddle, or into a lake, your film is still safe!
You will want to mail your film in the plastic bag anyway!
Do create depth
Light defines depth. On an overcast day it's possible that your images will look a little flat if you're not careful. You can create depth by keeping a shallow depth of field (small aperature number), bringing your subject into the open, and utilizing shadows!
I prefer to overexpose film in every situation, but I think it's especially important on a rainy or overcast day! Overexposing film is another way to add depth to your photograph because of the contrast that it creates. I overexpose by 1-2 stops on rainy days.
When it rains, it pours in Missouri! The skies are dark and the clouds are dense! This typically looks like shooting Portra 800 rated at 400 (that rating overexposes the film by 1 stop) and then I shoot 1 stop slower than my light meter suggests. On rainy days, most of my frames are shot at 1/60 of a second. Keep in mind that it really does depend on the type of rainy day.